Return of Title IV Funds

Students receiving financial assistance under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, who withdraw during the first sixty percent of the semester (measured in calendar days); will be subject to a “Return of Title IV Funds” calculation to determine the portion of their federal student aid that must be returned to the federal government. Students who withdraw after the sixty percent point are considered to have “earned” all of their federal student aid. A student’s withdrawal date is officially determined by the Dean of Students Office and communicated to the Financial Aid Office for use in the Return of Funds calculation.

If a student leaves the institution prior to completing 60% of a payment period or term, the financial aid office recalculates eligibility for Title IV funds.  Recalculation is based on the percentage of earned aid using the following Federal Return of Title IV funds formula:

Percentage of payment period or term completed = the number of days completed up to the withdrawal date divided by the total number of days in the payment period or term.  This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. 

If the student receives more federal student aid than the amount earned, the school, the student, or both must return the unearned funds in a specified order. The amount of federal student aid to be returned is determined by subtracting the amount of earned Title IV aid from the amount of Title IV aid that was actually disbursed to the student.

If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the College would be required to return a portion of the funds.  Keep in mind that when Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a debit balance to the institution.  If a student earned more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the College would owe the student a post-withdrawal disbursement. .

The College of Wooster must return the amount of Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student’s withdrawal.

Return of funds are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct Parent (PLUS) Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants for which a return of funds is required
  • Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grants for which a return of funds is required